Quintin Loves the Kids
There was a time in my life when I found children to be quite possibly the scariest creatures on Earth. They whine, they break things, and they get away with so much. I avoided them at all costs until I moved to Chicago and started to land freelance gigs, choreographing musical numbers for kid productions. It was nice. I would just walk in and they feared me enough to listen to everything I said. I felt like O. I grew too comfortable with my new found power. I got lazy with my etiquette and my choice of words got looser. I never crossed the line of inappropriateness until I met Dalannah.
You can tell from the name where this story is headed….
One day, I reported to the burbs to teach a youth group a routine I had created for their annual talent showcase. It was 10 boys and 11 girls who were oober excited to know that yours truly was going to have them shining like diamonds. Two breaks and three run-throughs later, Miss Dalannah decides to grace us with her presence.
She walked up to the stage, front and center as if she already knew the routine.
Me: Hi. Are you performing with this group?
Dalannah: Who is you?
Me: I’m the choreographer. And you are going to have to go to the back until you learn the routine.
Dalannah: Ha. Fool, whatever.
Dalannah: Damn you ugly.
The room fills with laughter. Rehearsal ends shortly after but it takes me another 30 minutes to pick up my face from the floor. I knew that I wasn’t ugly. She said that to hurt me. And it did. It hurt me.
I spent the next few days reflecting on what this child had said to me. It was life changing. I mean, sure, I don’t get every audition and the romantic life is a joke, but I have never had anyone flat out tell me that I was… the u word.
I was enraged, but I got myself back in check for the next rehearsal. I wasn’t about to let some BeBe kid get me. She wants to talk like she grown, she get dealt with like she grown.
An hour goes by, and the group has not only learned the routine, but I can’t even get them to take a break because they are having so much fun… Until… Dalannah walks in carrying her see-through purse and a bag of Flaming Hots.
Dalannah: What I miss?
Me: The entire routine.
Dalannah: Oh, so I guess you need to start teaching it to me.
Me: After you get all of that red Cheeto residue off your face.
Dalannah: Who are you talking to?
Me: Not Much.
Dalannah: Oh, I see we got jokes now.
Me: Yeah a 12 year old with a see-through purse. Really?
Side Note: The crowd has parents in it too….
Me: So I don’t want to argue anymore. It’s not too late for you to learn the dance. You just need have someone teach you the steps when we go on break.
Dalannah: I just need? I JUST NEED? No you NEED to shut that mess up. You ain’t going to be telling me what to do. You not my daddy.
Me: Do…. you know… who your daddy is?
Crowd erupts in laughter. Quintin 3, Dalannah 0
Dalannah: Ha. Ha. Dumb ass. Walking around in sweat pants.
Me: At… a dance… rehearsal. I’m just saying.
Dalannah: You look mexican! Yah, wanna be jamaican.
Me: You look asian. AND your head is shaped like an alien.
Some kid in the back: I told her that last week.
Dalannah: ^$*#*$& for the #*$*&@*#$ and then **&$# you little *#&$##@#
Me: And a konichiwa shem-fa-lye to you too. So you have two options, missy face! (Yes, I actually said that because I am not going to curse at a confused preteen) You can either learn the routine so that you can perform OR you can go home and make intergalactic crab ragoon. I don’t care.
Dalannah: Okay, so I just need a minute to change into my shorts.
Me: Oh. Okay, we’ll wait for you.
Dalannah: -Eye Roll-
And it was settled. She never said anything else mean to me and spent the rest of the time trying to be my friend. Kids are so cute.
PS. Quintin and ugly are antonyms, right?